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Winnipeg Tournament

Klaus Viktor Darga6/9(+3 -0 =6)[games]
Bent Larsen6/9(+4 -1 =4)[games]
Paul Keres5.5/9(+2 -0 =7)[games]
Boris Spassky5.5/9(+2 -0 =7)[games]
Pal Benko5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Laszlo Szabo4.5/9(+1 -1 =7)[games]
Florin Gheorghiu4.5/9(+1 -1 =7)[games]
Aleksandar Matanovic4/9(+1 -2 =6)[games]
Daniel Abraham Yanofsky3.5/9(+1 -3 =5)[games]
Shimon Kagan0.5/9(+0 -8 =1)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Winnipeg (1967)

Canada celebrated in 1967 the 100th anniversary of their Confederation. (1) On this occasion, it was decided to hold a GM tournament, the first of its kind in Canada. The organizer was Canada's only GM, "Abe" Yanofsky (who played in the tournament), assisted by FIDE representative John Prentice and others. (2) The opening ceremony on 2nd October was attended by Jack Willis, chairman of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, James Cowan from the Winnipeg Centre (representing the local government), Maitland Steinkopf, chairman of the Manitoba Centennial Corporation (which underwrote some of the tournament expenses), John MacDonald, and about 50 others. (2, 3) Six of the players arrived on 2nd October, but Matanovic, Szabo, Darga and Gheorghiu did not arrive until hours before the event started because their plane was delayed in Amsterdam. When the drawing of lots was being made they requested that they play each other in the first round since all were equally tired. But the draw was ruled inflexible, with Darga and Gheorghiu pitted against rested competitors. (3) Play commenced on 3rd October in Fort Garry Hotel, (4) at 1 pm (5) (playing time for rounds 5 and 6). There was a 5-hour time limit on each game, in which the players had 40 moves and 2 hours to make them. Spectators (entrance fee: $2) could watch the play on vertical boards on a stage behind the competitors. Several brought chess boards to study each move of their favorites at close range. It was allowed to wander in the room, but the spectators were admonished to be quiet and not crowd the players. Prize money pot: $4000. 1st price: $1000. (3)

Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Canada, 3-12 October 1967

Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 =1 GM Darga 2520 * 1 1 1 6 =1 GM Larsen 2620 0 * 1 1 1 1 6 =3 GM Keres 2610 * 1 1 5 =3 GM Spassky 2670 * 1 1 5 5 GM Benko 2570 0 * 1 1 5 =6 GM Szabo 2530 * 0 1 4 =6 GM Gheorghiu 2500 0 * 1 4 8 GM Matanovic 2530 0 0 * 1 4 9 GM Yanofsky 2490 0 0 0 1 * 3 10 Kagan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 *

Tournament Director: Jack Woodbury. (2) Yanofsky won the brilliancy price for Szabo vs Yanofsky, 1967. (2, 6)

Photos (Round 1): and

Tournament book: Canadian Centennial Grand Masters Chess Tournament, Winnipeg, 1967 by Daniel Yanofsky (Chess Player (No. 61), Nottingham 1968. 47 pp.). Elo is from the unofficial FIDE Rating List of June 1967 (

(1) Wikipedia article: Canadian Centennial.
(2) Chess Canada, 2007-01, p. 16:
(3) Brandon Sun, 4 October 1967.
(4) Winnipeg Free Press, 30 September 1967; Wikipedia article: Fort Garry Hotel.
(5) Winnipeg Free Press, 9 October 1967.
(6) Foreword to 2nd ed. of Yanofsky's book Chess the Hard Way.

Original collection: Game Collection: Winnipeg 1967 by User: Tabanus. The introduction is largely based on a report in Brandon Sun, 4 October 1967. This was not written by a chess player and should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. S Kagan vs Larsen 0-1571967WinnipegA10 English
2. Gheorghiu vs Keres  ½-½251967WinnipegC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
3. Benko vs K Darga  ½-½361967WinnipegE82 King's Indian, Samisch, double Fianchetto Variation
4. Spassky vs Yanofsky 1-0541967WinnipegB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
5. A Matanovic vs Szabo  ½-½181967WinnipegC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
6. A Matanovic vs Gheorghiu  ½-½311967WinnipegC67 Ruy Lopez
7. Larsen vs Spassky  ½-½501967WinnipegA15 English
8. Szabo vs K Darga  ½-½311967WinnipegA07 King's Indian Attack
9. Yanofsky vs Benko  ½-½361967WinnipegB32 Sicilian
10. Keres vs S Kagan 1-0381967WinnipegB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
11. Benko vs Larsen 0-1401967WinnipegA21 English
12. Gheorghiu vs Szabo  ½-½281967WinnipegE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
13. S Kagan vs A Matanovic  0-1341967WinnipegA17 English
14. Spassky vs Keres ½-½261967WinnipegC78 Ruy Lopez
15. K Darga vs Yanofsky 1-0401967WinnipegE82 King's Indian, Samisch, double Fianchetto Variation
16. Larsen vs K Darga 0-1591967WinnipegA17 English
17. Keres vs Benko  ½-½291967WinnipegB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
18. Gheorghiu vs S Kagan 1-0311967WinnipegE82 King's Indian, Samisch, double Fianchetto Variation
19. A Matanovic vs Spassky ½-½261967WinnipegB83 Sicilian
20. Szabo vs Yanofsky 0-1391967WinnipegE70 King's Indian
21. S Kagan vs Szabo  0-1591967WinnipegE91 King's Indian
22. K Darga vs Keres  ½-½321967WinnipegA15 English
23. Benko vs A Matanovic  1-0571967WinnipegE17 Queen's Indian
24. Spassky vs Gheorghiu  ½-½231967WinnipegE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
25. Yanofsky vs Larsen ½-½321967WinnipegB04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Looking at the crosstable, it seems that Shimon Kagan, the 1967 Israeli champion, was a bit out of his depth in this tournament. Was he one of the original invitees, or did he play because another player pulled out?
Apr-02-18  Howard: Interesting point! He was clearly the tournament punching bag in this event.
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